Facebook: Don't Be Too Web Active, Now

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Facebook Logo 2008Here’s a weird thing. An old acquaintance just e-mailed me:

I’m removing you as a friend on facebook but just writing to let you know its nothing personal! You have so many status updates or blog posts every day that like half of my news feed is purely from you and there’s no room left for news from my other friends.

The strange thing about this is that I haven’t actually logged into Facebook in something like 10 days now. I’m not a great user of the site and, while I’m not tempted to commit “Facebook suicide”, I only login in response to prompts from friends to do/reply to things.

So how did I end up overwhelming this guy’s news feed? Well, my Twitter updates and blog posts are pushed to my news feed via various apps. I tweet a fair bit, and I’m a pretty frequent blogger. That can add up over the day (as my new Action Stream in the sidebar makes clear).

I’ve argued before that Facebook is pretty much “training wheels Web 2.0 for those of low web activity”. This tends to provoke a defensive response from people who love the site (one example: “I know people who are giving up blogging for Facebook”. Of course you do: blogging is a high investment activity, Facebook is a low investment one. You’re making my point…), but I think it’s pretty accurate. If you want the social interaction that Web 2.0 provides, but don’t want the level of creation investment that goes with blogging, posting photos to Flickr or even keeping up a Twitter or Seesmic stream, then Facebook rocks. For those of us who are already active on the social web? It’s too limiting.

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.